Vote of the week: The setting of Star Wars Land?
Written by Robert Niles
We know that Star Wars Land is happening at Disney's Hollywood Studios. But what we don't know yet is exactly where the new land will be set.
Both literally and figuratively.
Of course, if someone associated with the project would like to leak us a copy or description of the plans, we're at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until that happens, though, let's talk about the setting of Star Wars Land. Not the physical setting: where the land will be built in the park. Let's talk about the thematic setting, because Star Wars Land provides what might be the greatest placemaking challenge in recent theme park history.
One of many Star Wars settings: Mos Espa (Image from Wookieepedia)
Harry Potter was easy. Build Hogwarts Castle in the town of Hogsmeade -- almost all of the action in the seven books and eight movies takes place there. Star Wars plays across an entire universe, however. How do you decide which of the multiple planets that have hosted Star Wars stories should provide the setting for Disney's Star Wars Land? And if one were to choose to place the land on multiple planets, how would one logically explain guest movement between the different planetary settings?
Disney's current Star Tours ride never addresses the location of its Star Tours terminal. But the ride makes clear that there are multiple planetary destinations in the Star Wars universe beyond its setting. Given that Star Tours ought to be part of Star Tours Land, how would the ride's inclusion affect a decision about the land's setting?
Of course, given that Star Wars Land will be built in a movie studio-themed park, Disney could punt and theme Star Wars Land as a Star Wars movie set, avoiding the issue of deciding on which planet the land's action takes place. But we've described the challenges facing movie set-themed parks and attractions. Given the passionate desire that so many Star Wars fans have to immerse themselves in this universe, Disney might be blowing an opportunity to win multiple future visits from these fans by taking a cheaper and easier choice to go with a movie set-themed land. (But you can tell us below if you think that's the best option.)
Let's assume that the setting will be a planet, and not on a Death Star or other spaceship, which would necessitate building a much more-expensive all-indoor land. The top two choices, given the action of the first six films, would appear to be the Skywalkers' home planet of Tatooine, or the Republic/Imperial Capital of Coruscant. Yet, other planets surely will appear in the new Star Wars movies Disney is beginning to produce and will be eager to promote to its millions of theme park visitors. Perhaps the land's setting should be one of them?
It's vote of the week time.
Finally, welcome to all our new readers this week, and thank you to all of our readers for being part of Theme Park Insider. Our reporting on Disney's Star Wars Land really heated up as a result of conversations on our Twitter feed. If you're not already following Theme Park Insider on Twitter, please consider this your invitation to join us over there, too!
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